Teaching Assistantships

The Department of Communication and Journalism has, at any one time, approximately 17 teaching assistantships for Ph.D. students and approximately 25 teaching assistantships for M.A. students.  All assistantships are competitively chosen. If you wish to apply for an assistantship, you need to complete the application for Teaching or Project Assistantship (see application materials).  Funding for the teaching assistantship is for the duration of your graduate program (four years for Ph.D. students starting AY 16-17 and two years for M.A. students) pending three conditions: (a) teaching performance (b) your personal academic performance and (c) department experiences significant budget constraints.

Assistantships are considered term appointments. Students should not assume reappointment from semester to semester. Teaching assistants typically teach two courses per semester (four total for the year).  This load is considered a 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent). The financial package for teaching assistants who teach four courses per year during the academic year 2016-2017 consists of the following. Be aware that amounts may vary from year to year.


  1. Stipend 14,989 (not including summer)
  2. Tuition waiver for up to 24 credits/year (12 per semester)
  3. Health insurance


  1. Stipend of 13,580 (not including summer)
  2. *No tuition waver but you pay the current in-state rate regardless of residency.
  3. Health insurance

The stipend may increase, but the actual amount of the increase is subject to state legislative decisions, and we do not find our specific figures until April or May of each year.  Finally, there are some opportunities for summer teaching, but they are not guaranteed.  Faculty have first priority for summer teaching.

Resources for Teaching Assistants

We work very hard to ensure that your teaching experience is rewarding.  We want to help you achieve your goal of being an excellent teacher.  Therefore, we offer the following resources:

1)      Faculty Facilitation/Coordination. A faculty member in the department provides coordination for all courses taught by TA’s.  Each TA is responsible for teaching his/her own classes (i.e. for most classes TA’s are not assistants, but the primary teacher for the course), but the faculty coordinator will provide support to help you be successful in your teaching.  The support includes meeting before the semester to assist with course and syllabus preparation and regular meetings during the semester to discuss ongoing issues in the course (e.g. class activities, grading, lectures, problems etc.).   The meetings provide the opportunity to share what is working, and what is not, in your own classes.

2)      TARC/ITARC (Teaching Assistant Resource Center) and ITARC (International Teaching Assistant Resource Center) are programs that operate through the Center for Advancement of Scholarship in Teaching and Learning and housed in the Office of Graduate Studies.  TARC and ITARC are each a one-credit course that provides instruction about the finer points of teaching.  Each course meets once a week for two hours for six weeks.  The course is available to all students at the university and is required for new TA’s in the C&J department. There are opportunities for graduate students in C&J to assist with TARC and ITARC (especially those students interested in instructional communication).

Research and Other Assistantships

The Department of Communication also has other assistantships available to graduate students. The funding for these projects is variable, but generally is consistent with the funding for teaching assistantships.  Some project assistantships provide funding for 12 months, which increases the overall stipend as teaching assistants are paid on a nine-month schedule.  Variable positions in other programs across campus will offer assistantships as well.  Check with the program advisement coordinator for information.

Cost of Living

We know that one concern that you might have is the cost of living in Albuquerque.  The following information may be useful for you in planning the cost of attending the University of New Mexico.  These costs are approximate and represent a range of possible expenses.

GRADUATE EXPENSES FOR THE 2016-2017 ACADEMIC YEAR can be found on the Financial Aid page at http://finaid.unm.edu/ under Cost of Attendance. Be aware that rates will vary from year to year.